• The University of Law Apprenticeship scheme offers 6 year route to solicitor qualification for school leavers

    3 November 2014

    From 2015, school leavers could become fully qualified solicitors within six years, as part of a new Articled Apprenticeship scheme to be unveiled by Government Apprenticeship Ambassador Gordon Birtwistle MP and Shadow Attorney General Emily Thornberry MP at the Houses of Parliament on Monday 3rd November. 

    Created by The University of Law (ULaw), the new scheme provides a realistic and credible alternative to the traditional route to becoming a solicitor. From day one, young people will be given the certainty and prestige of employment with an established law firm, combined with all of the benefits of studying with ULaw, the country’s longest-established specialist provider of legal education.

    Law firms and other legal employers will also benefit. The new recruitment stream will give legal employers the opportunity to develop and shape young talent, as well as reinforcing commitments to corporate social responsibility and employee development.

    Crucially, whilst the traditional route generally leads to student debt, Articled Apprentices will receive a salary from their law firm allowing them to cover their living costs. Additionally, at the end of the six year period, not only will they still have an undergraduate qualifying law degree (LL.B) and a postgraduate qualification (Legal Practice Course); they will also have gained a ‘period of recognised training’ working for a law firm, enabling them to qualify as a solicitor. 

    Gordon Birtwistle MP, Government’s Apprenticeship Ambassador to Business:

    “Apprenticeships are the way forward. They provide on-the-job training and offer a wage with a career at the end of it. There are a lot of young people under pressure to go to university and study and this is providing life changing opportunities for young people who might have not been able to financially support themselves through a law course.

    I myself trained as an apprentice engineer and I am the Government’s Apprenticeship Ambassador and I feel very proud of this new partnership. Apprentices are our nation’s best secret. As the workforce of the future, the legal profession will only be enriched by their contribution.”

    John Latham, CEO and President, ULaw, said:

    “The Articled Apprenticeship offers an alternative, cost-effective, route to qualification for those who want to “earn while they learn” to be a solicitor. By giving legal employers the opportunity to shape new recruits from the very beginning, the programme will also help talent retention, by demonstrating a commitment to employee development.

    For more information on the new schemes please visit: www.law.ac.uk/apprenticeships or e-mail apprenticeships@law.ac.uk